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Harvey Weinstein to be charged in UK over claims he twice assaulted woman in 1996

The 70-year-old is already in prison in the US after been jailed for rape and sexual assault

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Harvey Weinstein

Harvey Weinstein

Harvey Weinstein

Former Hollywood film producer Harvey Weinstein is facing two charges of indecent assault against a woman in London in 1996.

The 70-year-old is already in prison in the US, having been jailed for rape and sexual assault in New York and then moved to California where he is awaiting trial over charges he assaulted five women in Los Angeles.

Dozens of Hollywood actresses, including Uma Thurman, Salma Hayek, Rose McGowan and Gwyneth Paltrow, also came forward to make complaints against the producer.

Thurman gave an interview to The New York Times in which she accused Weinstein of attempting to sexually assault her at the Savoy hotel in London in the mid 1990s.

Lysette Anthony, a British actress, also waived her anonymity to accuse Weinstein of carrying out a “pathetic, revolting” attack on her at her London home in the late 1980s. She reported the incident to police in 2017.

It is currently unclear what the route to him facing a UK court would be, but legal experts believe extradition could be possible.

Former head of extradition at the Crown Prosecution Service, Nick Vamos, said: “The fact that Harvey Weinstein is serving a lengthy prison sentence in the US is no bar to his extradition to the UK.

“Both the UK/US Extradition Treaty and the UK Extradition Act 2003 permit people to be extradited even when already behind bars, provided they are kept in custody in the requesting country and returned to complete their sentence once the trial is finished.

“If Mr Weinstein was acquitted in the UK, he would be returned immediately to the US to continue his sentence.

“If he was convicted in the UK, he would most likely receive a prison sentence here.

“It will then be for the UK and the US to agree between them whether he completes his US sentence first and is then brought back to serve a UK sentence or vice versa.

“Given his age and health, even if convicted in the UK, Mr Weinstein might not live long enough to complete his US sentence.

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“Therefore, he might never serve a sentence in the UK.

“However, the CPS and, I’m sure, his alleged victim, would still say it was in the public interest to have the charges against him decided by a UK jury.”

The Crown Prosecution Service said yesterday it had authorised the Metropolitan Police to charge the 70-year-old following a review of evidence gathered by the force.

It is alleged that Weinstein twice indecently assaulted a woman, who is now aged in her 50s, between July 31 and August 31, 1996.

A spokesman for Weinstein released a statement that said: “It is strange and even unhelpful for them to release this information without having interviewed him, given him any previous disclosure regarding the allegations and not producing an actual charge sheet, nor any plan of how they intend to proceed with the matter.”

“At this point we have the same information as the media.”

Weinstein is currently imprisoned in California and is awaiting trial on charges he assaulted five women in Los Angeles and Beverly Hills from 2004 to 2013. He is currently serving a 23-year prison sentence after being convicted in 2020 of assaulting a former production assistant and raping a former aspiring actor.

That conviction was upheld by a New York appeals court last week.

The verdict was considered a landmark in the #MeToo movement.


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